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Briefing: National Care Service

The National Care Service (Scotland) Bill proposes establishing a National Care Service (NCS) by transferring social care responsibility from local authorities to a new national service. Ministers will also be able to transfer healthcare functions from the NHS to the proposed National Care Service. After extensive criticism from parliamentary committees, trade unions and care organisations, the vote on Stage 1 of the Bill has been postponed until at least June. The new First Minister has also indicated that he is willing to overhaul the Bill.

At our STUC fringe meeting on 19 April, we will ask whether social care reform is being kicked into the long grass or is it a welcome pause for improvements.

In our background briefing for Congress, we explain the case for reform of social care in Scotland. Why the National Care Service as proposed is fundamentally flawed, and point to possible ways forward. Welcome though pausing the Bill is, it isn’t enough. We need to withdraw the Bill and consider the reforms we really need.

You can read and download our briefing below.